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The scary side of my PC

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June 3, 2007 6:05:15 PM

I had the scariest PC breakdown this morning.. that is the scariest one since several mos ago (which ended in my PC being 'dead' for 4mos)

I wake up to log on to my PC which was doing light torrenting overnight. I find that the PC is acting as if the spacebar is being held down... strange. I unplug the kb and mouse, then move them to different usb ports... no change.

I then restart the PC, something that I usually do when I encounter such an issue. Upon POST, my mobo speaker starts to beep in rapid succession: beep beep beep. I restart the PC, same thing. I then go to my motherboard manual, remembering that somewhere on my PC, there are diagnostic lights that can tell me what is wrong when the mobo beeps at me.

The lights on the back of the PC are 4 lights labeled A, B, C, and D. When all is fine, they turn all green. Depending on the problem, different lights turn orange, as a code. When my PC started beeping, the lights A and D turned orange. Checking in the manual, I saw that this indicated a possible hard drive or floppy drive issue, and recommended reseating the data and power cables.

I re-seat all of the power and data cables, but the PC retains its beeping issue. I reconnect all of the cables, and the ram as well. I try repeatedly to turn on the PC. From several dozen tries, two are different. In these cases, the PC would begin to beep, but after several seconds, falter and stop. The PC would continue to load windows. However, on both of these occasions that it got into windows, there were issues. The first time, my Linksys Wifi card gave an error that it could not connect. The second time that it managed to boot into windows, I encountered the same held-down-spacebar issue, which made it impossible to accomplish anything.

I then left for school (the above took place in less than half an hour.)
When I came home 30min ago, I did one thing, and now my PC seems to be working fine. What did I do?

More about : scary side

June 3, 2007 6:22:00 PM

Quote:
That's weird... I had a mystery issue once. I couldnt boot. I tried for hours to get it to boot. Tried everything... I went to sleep, woke up the next day, and everything was magically back to normal and never had the problem again. PC's are so weird sometimes...


ah yes, but what did I do?

do you say... that what I did was nothing?
June 3, 2007 6:48:45 PM

Quote:
Glitch in the system or maybe a virus has gotten in. Since the error is coming durring post have you tried reseting the Bios. Offten this will fix many random issues such as this.


you got it!

I reset the CMOS, and havent heard a mobo beep since

just a quirk I guess

Im making that a rule: Any issue from before loading WinXP, reset the CMOS. It only takes 20sec, and it can fix a LOT of weird problems
Related resources
June 3, 2007 7:07:29 PM

Quote:
Yep... somtimes there will be a bit of a hickup or glitch in the Cmos and it need to be reset. Most offten it will cause the KB, mouse and/or USB to act up or stop working. Simple reset is all it takes to clear it up.


I think I may have found out why I had that held-down spacebar issue. Wanna try to guess what it was?
June 3, 2007 7:10:44 PM

Since you leave your machine on during the night downloading torrents, I'm curious as to whether you have an Uninteruptable Power Supply [UPS], or some call them Battery Backups.

If you do great, but if not and you plan on continuing to download through the night you may want to consider getting yourself one, its one of the best investments in computer stability you can make, but most people don't see the true need when other upgrades seem to be more important, and put getting one on the back burner as not being necessary or essential, and on that I beg to differ.

Not only does it keep your system running during a [short term] power failure, it protects from surges, brownouts, and basically feeds your machine a constant level of power, so it can perform as it should, storms coming through during the night could affect your downloading and your computer running as a whole.

It doesn't take but a short loss of power to throw your computer in a tailspin, requiring a restart to straighten itself out most times, now if you were right there when it happened, you'd know it needed to be restarted but if you're not there, Windows goes to crap with missing information everytime.

Just something for you to consider and even if you have one is the battery in good condition and the unit working properly, they all pretty much have a startup diagnostic test to ensure they're working properly, 90% of my troubles dissappeared after getting my UPS, and now I wouldn't even consider running my computer without one.
June 3, 2007 7:14:18 PM

Dude, you got a dell :lol:  :lol:  Well there's the problem!
June 3, 2007 7:18:30 PM

Quote:
Since you leave your machine on during the night downloading torrents, I'm curious as to whether you have an Uninteruptable Power Supply [UPS], or some call them Battery Backups.

If you do great, but if not and you plan on continuing to download through the night you may want to consider getting yourself one, its one of the best investments in computer stability you can make, but most people don't see the true need when other upgrades seem to be more important, and put getting one on the back burner as not being necessary or essential, and on that I beg to differ.

Not only does it keep your system running during a [short term] power failure, it protects from surges, brownouts, and basically feeds your machine a constant level of power, so it can perform as it should, storms coming through during the night could affect your downloading and your computer running as a whole.

It doesn't take but a short loss of power to throw your computer in a tailspin, requiring a restart to straighten itself out most times, now if you were right there when it happened, you'd know it needed to be restarted but if you're not there, Windows goes to crap with missing information everytime.

Just something for you to consider and even if you have one is the battery in good condition and the unit working properly, they all pretty much have a startup diagnostic test to ensure they're working properly, 90% of my troubles dissappeared after getting my UPS, and now I wouldn't even consider running my computer without one.


More likely, my PSU would crap out on me before the UPS could do any good? My PSU has some serious issues....
June 3, 2007 7:19:52 PM

If that happens again to your dell run ZZ-top, it will find the hardware that is causing the problem if it's a hardware problem.
June 3, 2007 7:21:07 PM

Quote:
If that happens again to your dell run ZZ-top, it will find the hardware that is causing the problem if it's a hardware problem.


Linkage?
June 3, 2007 8:29:13 PM

Quote:
If that happens again to your dell run ZZ-top, it will find the hardware that is causing the problem if it's a hardware problem.


Linkage?

It's on one of the cd dell sends to you.disket download
or go to support.dell.com and search for zztop.
June 3, 2007 9:29:07 PM

UPS's are great for taking spikes out of power and if u have a power cut its funny when everyone is looking at a blank tv in the dark while you carry on playing the pc. The gf hated the fan noise from 1 ups i had so she unplugged it while i was at work and plugged the pc straight in, then got drove mad by the beeping........ but how it had no power :) 
June 4, 2007 1:44:45 AM

Quote:
UPS's are great for taking spikes out of power and if u have a power cut its funny when everyone is looking at a blank tv in the dark while you carry on playing the pc. The gf hated the fan noise from 1 ups i had so she unplugged it while i was at work and plugged the pc straight in, then got drove mad by the beeping........ but how it had no power :) 


They're really good for taking out power dips, which can cause the read/write head to crash into the plater.
June 4, 2007 6:56:09 PM

Quote:
haha.. I almost said that in my first post but I held back. hehehe 8)


Yeah, I just couldn't help myself. I couldn't believe no one said it so I had to. It's an universal law haha :lol: 
June 4, 2007 9:52:07 PM

Quote:
haha.. I almost said that in my first post but I held back. hehehe 8)


Yeah, I just couldn't help myself. I couldn't believe no one said it so I had to. It's an universal law haha :lol: 

My Dads Inspiron 8600 has been running since January of 2004 with NO ISSUES whatsoever. I havent even found one virus or one bit of malware ever on his PC. I have a friend who ripped his Inspiron 8500 for 5years until the video ram died. My Inspiron 8200 which I gave to my sister is now 5yrs old and still running well.
June 4, 2007 10:03:24 PM

Quote:

I havent even found one virus or one bit of malware ever on his PC.


that's very rare, he must go to several safe web pages or have very good scanning programs.
June 4, 2007 10:18:45 PM

Quote:

I havent even found one virus or one bit of malware ever on his PC.


that's very rare, he must go to several safe web pages or have very good scanning programs.

for the first two years all he used was Norton... and that expired after 15mos....

after that he uses the classic combination of ZoneAlarm Free Edition, AVG Free Edition, and AdAware SE. He refused to add any more (Spybot) because he wants to be careful. He also still has Norton installed :roll: . The programs really taxed his 1.6ghz 512mb Banias system, until I upgraded the ram to 1.25gb.

I did get a 3-pack of Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite off of Frys for only the shipping price (after MIR.) I havent installed it on any of the family's 3 internet connected PCs. They are all running ZoneAlarm, AVG, Spybot (with the exception of my dads), and AdAware.

I will replace the ZoneAlarm and AVG with the Internet security suite, but keep Spybot and AdAware, as the spyware part of the ZoneAlarm Internet Suite is supposed to suck.

Ive had the box for weeks now... just lazy
!